After three days in the Cotswolds, we were ready for some city fun. Each time we visit London, we try to check out a new neighborhood. A few years ago, we stayed in Bethnal Green and loved East London. For this five-night holiday, we chose Shoreditch. The area is all the rage right now for its creative vibe, and we had several fun hotels from which to choose: The Ace, Nobu, and The Curtain. After almost going with Nobu (its architecture is great), we chose The Curtain, which opened in a newly constructed building in 2017.
Feeling right at home
We live in the old warehouse district of St. Paul, Minnesota, and the look and feel of The Curtain was familiar. The hoteliers have another property in the meatpacking district of Manhattan, and the hotel felt distinctly American, something we wouldn’t usually opt for, but reviews in The Telegraph, Wallpaper* and Forbes convinced us we needed to experience the New York-in-London feel.
We checked in and headed to our room on the second floor. It was well done but very cozy size-wise (not a problem) and quite dark (a little disappointing). Because we were staying five nights, we decided to ask if another room was available. That led to our choosing an upgraded room, which, quite honestly, doubled the price of the stay (gulp), but we decided it was worth it to have a bit more light and some more space.
Worth the spend
A few things made The Curtain worth the price, even if it felt a lot like home. The floor-to-ceiling windows that opened were great for watching and listening to the Shoreditch street life. The steam shower was a treat. The comfortable bed made it hard to climb out in the morning, even with London waiting. The mini bar provided endless cocktail opportunities (although who wants to make their own drink when talented bartenders await both at ground level and on the rooftop). Speaking of the rooftop, we loved getting afternoon drinks at Lido (the rooftop bar) and studying the construction going on all around us. Of course, that experience depends on the weather, and we had the kind of September sunshine and warmth that made everyone in the city cheerful.
Bring on the art
London’s art scene is unmatched. Each time we’re in the city, we make a point of visiting a few favorites (Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Modern, Wallace) but also seeking out new spots. Shoreditch is known for its art scene, and The Curtain makes its own contribution. We had fun taking in art in the hotel’s public spaces, hallways and guest rooms (we got to see three rooms when we decided to upgrade). This visit truly ended up being a feast for our art senses, and the artistic feel of The Curtain was a fitting complement to our gallery and museum visits.
- The Curtain Hotel
- Shoreditch, London
- Our stay: 5 nights, September 24-29, 2018
- Room: Junior Suite
What we saw, what we ate
- Dinner at Dishoom
- Coffee at Taylor St. Baristas
- Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” at Tate Modern, along with an architecture in design exhibit
- Note exhange at the Bank of England
- Drinks at The Water Poet
- Dinner at Pizza East
- Coffee at All Press and bagels at Brick Lane Biegel Bake
- Walk along Columbia Road
- Bribach “skins” show at Parasol Unit
- Walk along Regent’s canal to Angel/Islington, Clerkenwell, Fleet Street and the Strand, arriving at Trafalgar Square to see the 4th plinth project (Michael Rakowitz’s “The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist”)
- Women’s show at The Mall Galleries
- Dinner at Sager & Wilde, Bethnal Green
- Coffee at The Old Shoreditch Station and pastries at Fabrique
- Jealous Gallery, Leyden Gallery, and Union Pacific Gallery, Stolenspace Gallery
- Coffee at Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, Whitechapel
- Elmgreen and Dragset show at Whitechapel Gallery: “This is how we bite our tongue” (also saw Pollock archival exhibition)
- Beer at The Seven Stars
- Hockney window at Westminster Abbey
- Buckingham Palace State Rooms Tour
- Dinner at Colbert, Sloane Square
- Great Rising of 1381 Memorial
- Doris Salcedo show at White Cube gallery
- Toasted cheese sandwich at Kappacasein Dairy, Borough Market
- Primrose Hill
- Drinks at Corney & Barrow, Liverpool Station
- Ottolenghi, Spitalfields
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